There are other free antivirus products available. AVG isn't the only one that has a free version.
Personally I like the idea that they are not making the free version bloated with a bunch of stuff. I like single purpose products that don't try to be everything. It was what I liked best about AVG. Other antivirus products, especially ones you pay for, want to do everything short of checking the user for chicken pox. That makes them near impossible to run on an old slower PC. And because they are trying to be everything, they don't do it all, well. You can't be the best at everything.
I just hope they get the bugs worked out very soon, because I don't want to have to go on a mad hunt for a replacement that runs well on old 9x pc's.
As far as anti-spyware is concerned...
AVG isn't/wasn't the only free anti-spyware option in the world. Don't forget Spybot and Adaware. They are both still free options, too.
And don't forget that your firewall may also have stuff to prevent spyware.
I never used AVG's anti-spyware and anti-rootkit products, so I can live without them.
Another option which wasn't mentioned in Gizmo's newsletter is the offer from AOL. They are offering their members a free copy of McAfee VirusScan Plus
. All you need is an AOL email address to get it, and you can now get one of those for free.
Looking over the feature list it includes antivirus, anti-spyware, email scanning, anti-rootkit, firewall, IM attachment scanning, etc.
So you are not left high & dry & defenseless.
It's not an option for 9x users, though. And personally, I don't particularly like McAfee, especially on an old slow PC. I was a long time Mcafee user (began with v4) until I switched from using a boxed version of McAfee VirusScan 7 to AVG Free about 4-5 years ago because of stability issues on a 233MHz, 64MB ram, Win9x machine. After less than a month, I got tired of weird things going wrong, like my taskbar getting stuck or PC freezing up if just the icon from a .rar file was visible on my screen. But those could be issues that only affect 11 year old low end machines. I never tried it on something modern, and the woman that I gave my disk to didn't seem to have any problems with it on her P2 with twice the RAM.
And then there is this obvious option:
How much is peace of mind worth to you? Consider paying for something.
If you can find something you like that has everything you want and need, consider buying it. The security of your PC is important and should be taken seriously. Until I switched to AVG Free, I always paid for my antivirus. Sure I like free, but I like good stuff and am willing to pay for it if I have to, even if it means making a sacrifice in another area to do it. (maybe my family will have to eat spaghetti an additional day each week
I also like tech support when I need it, which isn't something you get with AVG Free. Their only tech support option for users of their free products is a user to user help forum that they don't monitor. If another user of their product can't or won't help you, you won't get an answer or a solution.
Users of their free product can't report bugs, problems, false positives, and other issues. They don't want to hear from you unless you are a paying customer. I have been down that road with them and their automated email responses telling me that unless I provide a code within the body of my email, it won't go through their system...and only paying users get a code.
Meanwhile I am being nagged to death by some false positive wanting to delete an old project of mine, or calling some Paintshop Pro plugin I have had for over 6 years a trojan, or calling FontExpert 2006 a virus. It's things like that, that cause users to deactivate their security products and put themselves at risk. But unless you pay, they don't want to hear about the issues. You have to pay for the right to tell them there is a problem with their product that they need to fix. It's ridiculous.
And here is a bonus that some people that pay for their antivirus get, that the rest of us don't: There is something that comes along with the boxed version
of many antivirus products that doesn't come with the download versions or any free version: The install disk is also a bootable rescue CD that is capable of scanning and cleaning your machine without booting into windows to do it. That was one of the main reasons why I always bought the disk version over the downloadable version of McAfee. I never needed that option, but it was nice to know I had it, just in case I did. And if you can get it on a really good sale, and use a rebate too, the final cost could be dirt cheap. Last time my final cost was $1, which is only slightly more than free. We didn't even have to eat spaghetti to pay for it.